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Tuesday, December 15, 2009
How to Solve New Jersey's Budget Deficit: Get Paid to Take New York's Garbage
As New Jersey's new Governor Super-Size-Me* gets ready to tackle (or surrender to) a growing anticipated state budget deficit now stated (or feared?) to be about $9.5 billion (compare to $3 billion for New York, $2 billion for Connecticut), here is an idea for tackling the budget deficit.
Turn New Jersey into the Garbage State. Seriously.
New Jersey already has the Nets. There's a start. Now, New Jersey should offer to store (for a fee, of course) all of New York City's and Philadelphia's garbage at sites in New Jersey. This garbage is already being trucked over New Jersey highways like Route 3 by New York City Sanitation trucks driving through the Lincoln Tunnel on their way to ... Pennsylvania.
Notice how Pennsylvania does not have New Jersey's budget problems. They exploit their revenue opportunities. New Jersey simply needs to do the same. New Jersey already smells the stench, so there's not much downside.
This proposal would also be environmentally friendly. If the trucks dump their load in New Jersey, they are travelling only a fraction of the distance to central Pennsylvania. This cuts down on fossil fuel emissions. The benefits should be obvious.
Here's another advantage. Converting currently unused land into garbage dumps will help fight unwanted suburban sprawl.
If there are legal challenges, this is where a creative government should be able to exploit existing eminent domain powers.
* - This budget deficit is so big that it evokes the image of the Austin Powers movie trilogy villain Dr. Evil (played by Mike Myers) sticking his pinky to his mouth and uttering an amount of money. Hence, if we can have "Mini-Me," we must have the gargatuan counterpart in recognition of the gargatuan deficit and corresponding pain that is going to be felt by residents, employers and employees of and in the State of New Jersey.
** - Some of you corrupt Democrats would have preferred the moniker "Fat Bastard" but that is not being nice.